‘We just need to hire more staff’: Shelton schools in need of subs, hike daily pay rate

Photo of Brian Gioiele
Exterior view of the Board of Education offices in Shelton, Conn. Nov. 5, 2020.

Exterior view of the Board of Education offices in Shelton, Conn. Nov. 5, 2020.

Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media

SHELTON — The school district’s building substitutes will soon be getting a bump in pay.

The Board of Education, at its meeting last week, approved increasing the current salary from $110 to $150 per day beginning Jan. 3.

School District Chief of Staff Carole Pannozzo said the building substitute program was introduced during the 2015-16 school year, and there has been no increase in the per-diem rate since that time.

“Currently, with the fierce competition for employees in all employment areas, the rate increase is one tool to aid Shelton public schools with recruitment and retention of these employees,” Pannozzo said.

She said, for the 2021-22 school year, the district budgeted for 26 building subs, with 14 positions filled and two more subs starting on Jan. 3. She said the daily rate increase will not impact the present year’s school budget.

“These positions are important to the successful functioning of schools,” Pannozzo said, “They of course cover teacher absences, but since the subs are assigned to one particular school, they become familiar with that school’s staff, students, routines, and building layout, as opposed to a sub who is assigned on a daily basis and requires training each day.”

Also, Pannozzo said the building substitutes have been a recruitment pool for filling teacher positions, since some of the building subs are studying to become certified teachers.

“The program has been successful, and principals applaud and support the program,” Pannozzo said. “We just need to hire more staff.”